Breathless at St. Bride’s
Once seated on the plane, Agnes pulled a paperback detective novel from the tote bag and turned to the page where, the night before, the highlight of the story so far had been the main character leaping from a tall building. Tired eyes forced her to place a book mark between pages sixty-six and sixty-seven.
"Excuse me, ma'am," a soft voice interrupted.
Agnes glanced up at a gangly teenager in faded jeans and a baggy red pullover. Unbuckling the seat belt, she stood up to let the young man into the middle seat and stuff a canvas backpack under the seat ahead. She barely had sat down again, when a heavy set, middle-aged man with thinning reddish hair, dressed in a pin-striped brown suit, stopped beside her aisle seat.
"Can I get in here? I have the window." He flashed a boarding pass as if it was a ticket allowing him to be rude.
After resuming their places, Agnes buckled up, reopened the paperback, and stuck the envelope/bookmark into the seat pocket in front between the flight magazine and barf bag.
The young man deplaned at Kelowna, leaving the middle seat empty throughout the rest of the flight. The window seated man used the advantage of extra space by lifting the arm rest and spreading out his girth. When the beverage cart made the rounds again, he requested another beer. From the sour odour wafting from him, Agnes assumed consumption of alcoholic drinks started before boarding. She wrinkling her nose in disgust.
"Did you lose something?" The brown-suited man asked with a gruff voice.
Agnes nodded and sat up hastily. "Just an envelope I was using for a bookmark, nothing important?